(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Sweden has no idea why Donald Trump is talking about the country

The president isn't using high-level intelligence for information about allies. He's using Fox News


Jeremy Binckes
February 20, 2017 6:25PM (UTC)

During a Saturday campaign rally in Sarasota, Florida, President Donald Trump alluded to some sort of terror attack in Sweden — an ally of the U.S.

"You look at what's happening in Germany. You look at what's happening last night in Sweden. Sweden! Who would believe this? Sweden! They took in large numbers. They're having problems like they never thought possible," Trump said, before mentioning cities that have seen terrorist attacks in recent years.

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Notably absent from Trump's list was Quebec, where a right-wing extremist and Trump fan shot and killed six Muslims. Canadian authorities called it a terrorist attack. Trump has stayed silent on that attack, while spokesman Sean Spicer used the attack to justify the Trump administration's immigration ban that targeted those from Muslim-majority countries.

Semantics aside, Sweden — the entire country — had no idea what exactly happened "last night," nor why Trump was using it to say there was a threat posed by Muslims.

"Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound," tweeted former Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. Meanwhile, the country's embassy was more direct in its comments.

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Others were having more fun with the hashtag #LastNightInSweden.

 

 

But Trump wasn't talking about a specific event in Sweden "last night." He was talking about what he saw on TV instead.

That Fox News piece was Tucker Carlson interviewing a conservative filmmaker about the alleged troubles in the country due to a wave of immigration from Muslims. This would ordinarily not be news.  But there are intelligence agencies and international experts the president failed to ask for information about the country. Instead, he relied on a conservative pundit on Fox News.

Trump's remarks were just an example of what caused John Oliver to call him a "pathological liar" on Sunday night's episode of "Last Week Tonight."


Jeremy Binckes

Jeremy Binckes is the senior news editor at Salon.com.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Donald Trump Fox News John Oliver Sweden Tucker Carlson

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